New Paper: Glacier algae accelerate melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet

This week our new paper on the melt-accelerating effects of glacier algae on the Greenland Ice Sheet was finally accepted for publication. This paper was an absolute epic to get through peer-review - I might post about that later - but for now I'll focus on the paper content. I'm really pleased to see this … Continue reading New Paper: Glacier algae accelerate melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet

Bio-co-albedo?

At EGU I had the pleasure of talking about BioSNICAR and biological albedo reduction with two of the big-names in albedo research. A very interesting point they raised was that the term ‘bioalbedo’ does not precisely describe the concept that it is attached to. This is true. The term bioalbedo was not coined by spectroscopy … Continue reading Bio-co-albedo?

La Recherche Article: The microbes accelerating glacier melting

I recently published an article in French pop-sci magazine La Recherche about the wondrous microbial ecosystems on glaciers and ice sheets (here for French speakers). For those English speakers who do not subscribe to la Recherche, here is a translation. Also, I strongly recommend the excellent translator who worked on this article with me - … Continue reading La Recherche Article: The microbes accelerating glacier melting

EGU Image of the Week: Algal blooms on GrIS

A short article I wrote for the EGU blog about biological darkening of ice and snow was posted last month. The article was built around an aerial view of our 2016 field camp on the Greenland Ice Sheet, where large areas of dark ice are clearly visible. The dark colour is due to a collection … Continue reading EGU Image of the Week: Algal blooms on GrIS

New AGU paper: Microbes change the colour and chemistry of Antarctic snow

In recent decades there has been a significant increase in snow melt on the Antarctic Peninsula and therefore more 'wet snow' containing liquid water. This wet snow is a microbial habitat In our new paper, we show that distance from the sea controls microbial abundance and diversity. Near the coast, rock debris and marine fauna … Continue reading New AGU paper: Microbes change the colour and chemistry of Antarctic snow

New TCD paper: Dark ice on Greenland Ice Sheet

Our new discussion paper, led by Black and Bloom PDRA Andrew Tedstone, examines in detail why there is a stripe of dark, fast-melting ice on the Greenland Ice Sheet, particularly in the south-west. This 'dark zone' is clearly visible in satellite imagery of the Greenland Ice Sheet and is important because darker ice melts faster. … Continue reading New TCD paper: Dark ice on Greenland Ice Sheet

Bioalbedo: new model and TCD paper

I'm very pleased to report our new paper is now in open discussion in The Cryosphere. The paper presents a new model for predicting the spectral bioalbedo of snow and ice, which confirms that ice algae on ice surfaces can change its colour and by doing so enhance its melt rate ("bioalbedo"). We also used … Continue reading Bioalbedo: new model and TCD paper

Video: Alive and Well: Microbes Add to Melting of Greenland Ice Sheet

Peter Sinclair and Yale Climate Connections have released an excellent video detailing the role of microbial life in driving Greenland Ice Sheet melt, featuring several researchers from the Dark Snow Project and Black and Bloom. We were lucky enough to have Peter with us for a couple of days at the beginning of our trip in … Continue reading Video: Alive and Well: Microbes Add to Melting of Greenland Ice Sheet

Challenges in quantifying ‘bioalbedo’

On Wednesday last week I traveled to the University of Bristol to give a seminar at the Centre for Glaciology. I presented a new physical model for the spectral albedo of ice with algal growth, along with some field data from 2016. Preparing for the talk, discussions with fellow researchers and insightful questions in the … Continue reading Challenges in quantifying ‘bioalbedo’